British Gas owner Centrica has today clinched a £2.3 billion deal for a 20 per cent stake in British Energy.
Centrica will take the interest from French group EDF, which completed a £12.5 billion takeover of British Energy in January.
The deal comes after discussions last summer, which were put on hold as energy prices plummeted. It is subject to regulatory approval, but could be completed by the end of September.
It is understood, though, that the stake is lower than the 25 per cent it was reported Centrica would buy last year.
Centrica said the British Energy agreement made it a key player in the development of new nuclear power in the UK.
British Energy plants supply the UK with around one-sixth of its electricity needs in total. It has sites at Heysham in Lancashire, Hartlepool, Dungeness in Kent, Hinkley Point in Somerset, Hunterston in Ayrshire, Sizewell in Suffolk and Torness in East Lothian.